Mumbai: Leading companies in India are proactively assuring employees that they will be taken care of financially while the lockdown continues or even if it gets extended. From paying advance salary to both regular and contractual workers a week before the usual salary credit date to honouring joining date commitment for new joinees even if they cannot come on board, companies are going all out to reassure employees. Stalled projects and work irregularities will not come in the way of salary payments, HR heads of top business groups confirmed. Companies are also assuring contract workers (vendors, housekeeping staff, maintenance personnel et al) of their jobs as well as uninterrupted pay.
Steel major Tata Steel has conveyed to all employees that salaries will be paid on time and there will be no disruption at all to salary payments due to the lockdown. For its contract workers and vendors, including people on temporary projects, maintenance staff, cleaning staff, housekeeping people and various other contract workers in their offices and factories, there will be no disruption in payment even though work has stopped.
“We have confirmed to the people, there will be no payment disruption. All salaries will be paid on time,” said Suresh Tripathi, vice president – HR at Tata Steel. “We have told the vendors that even if they are on leave or their projects are on hold due to lockdown or their work is reduced, that full payment will be made to everyone irrespective of all work disruption,” said Tripathi assuring that employees and workers have nothing to worry financially.
Bharti Airtel has already paid salaries to its employees for March.
Online Onboarding for New Recruits
Dalmia Bharat Group has advanced salary payment for all employees and all salaries are being credited into the accounts between March 26 and March 27. The company has decided to make payment to their contract employees twice a month so that there is no shortage of cash in their hands.
For people who were due to join in March and April, the company is doing online onboarding and will ensure all salaries are paid to new joinees with no delay in joining dates. “With a weekend coming, we were worried about banks being shut. We wanted people to have the money in their hands and had taken this decision to advance salary payment even before the 3-week lockdown was announced,” said Ajit Menon, group HR head at Dalmia Bharat Group.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier urged all private sector companies to honour payment commitment to employees.
Chinese handset makers Oppo and Vivo said that they will ensure timely salaries to their employees working in Greater Noida factories, which suspended production due to the state and national-level lockdown to contain the outbreak of Covid-19. “Salaries will not be delayed, including for our factory workers. It will be business as usual for us,” a Vivo spokesperson told ET.
Oppo too has said that it will ensure timely disbursement of salary to all of its employees. Oppo’s Greater Noida facility houses over 4,000 employees, while Vivo’s factory has 10,000 employees.
Home-bred handset maker Lava International Wednesday said it will release a part of salaries of its factory workers in advance. “Lava will pay around 20% of the salary in advance today (Wednesday), almost 12 days ahead of the scheduled date,” the company said in a statement.
Lava’s Noida plant has a workforce of 3,500 and a manufacturing capacity of 3 million units per month while 2 million units are exported every year.
NTT-Netmagic, which runs data centres and provides internet services and IT-enabled services to several government and private organisations, has assured its 1,500 employees of no job losses or pay cuts. “We have assured them that there will be no job losses or pay cuts as a result of this situation. Employee safety is our key priority right now,” said Sharad Sanghi, CEO, Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure (India) of NTT Ltd. The company’s operations fall under essential services and the company is currently operating with minimal staff with most of the 1500 employees working from home.
Others like Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, assured that no contract staff will be let go of due to a project being stalled. “It’s a mandate with every leader that no contract employee will be let go of due to project delays. We are not thinking about project timing at all now. Safety of everyone is the most important concern,” said Runita Verma, director HR, Schneider Electric India. Contract employees have already been given advance payments on March 24 and all other employees got their salaries on March 25. “We are proactively telling people not to worry financially or mentally,” said Verma.
The company is also honouring all new joining date commitments and are onboarding people online so that their salary payment is not hampered.
“We are honouring all commitments and date of joining because the people have already left their previous organisations. Full salary will be paid to everyone,” assured Shiva Emani, director, HR services, Schneider Electric India.
(With inputs from Danish Khan and Priyanka Sangani)